You’re always on my mind when Artful Home unveils a new jewelry collection and asks me to choose a couple of pieces to review and write about. As I look through the collection, I think about companion pieces that will tell a story and provide a shortcut to getting dressed.
I usually go into the choosing part with an educated guess about what I’ll share with you. Sometimes—like this time—my initial teaching points don’t hold water. That leaves me with some ‘splainin’ to do.
Preparing my jewelry styling lesson plan
These black and gold Midnight on the Water Earrings would be great for a special occasion. There’s drama in the concave column. They’re two inches long, so we’re not talking petite here. This is not a nothing earring; it’s a something earring. It’ll be noticed. It’s the star.
The supporting piece, the Two Tone Small Rough Cut Bracelet, will be a lovely companion to the concave column earrings. The bracelet repeats the black and gold colors in the earrings. It’s happy to be the supporting accessory to the Midnight on the Water Earrings.
Lesson plan is complete, now for the photo plan
I made a cup of coffee and thought about how I’d demonstrate my jewelry teaching points in outfit photos. I said, Brenda, you probably need to pair these two pieces with a sleek gray or black dress in a column shape. Or, you could wear this black and gold jewelry set with a column of color in separates. They’d be fabulous with your black wide-legged pant (too bad they’re small on you right now) and a classic black fine-knit sweater (that need to buy).
The earring and bracelet arrive with their own lesson plan
You know me: When I get something new, I try to wear it in the first 24 hours.
I wasn’t flush with extra time to go shopping for the column dress or separates I thought I needed. I’d have to shop my closet to make an outfit within my time limit. Tick tock, tick tock.
Not sure what to do next, I decided to let the brilliant gold color in the earrings talk to me and tell me what it wanted to be paired with. I looked into my closet and waited for the answer. Burgundy said, “Me. It wants to be with me.”
Okay then! I created a column of burgundy with my thin-wale corduroy pants (Kut from the Cloth) and a seasoned silk ruffled and tucked blouse.
My fashion fairy godmother intervened
Okay gold and burgundy, what do I add next? “Hunter green,” they said in unison. In the 3/4 coat section of my closet, I spotted my reworked Peter Cohen lean wool coat. It was a resale item. After I purchased it, I had it shortened but still struggled to wear it. Two years went by before I sent it back to the consignment store for resale.
It never sold. When it was returned to me, I ran it by the Bellas. They both thought I shouldn’t invest any more time or money into it. I don’t know why, but I kept it anyway.
I slipped it on. Burgundy and gold were so right on. I should have seen it myself: Red and green (or hunter green and burgundy) are complimentary colors. Complimentary colors create vibrancy.
I especially like how the jacket lapels are perfectly positioned to give the right amount of space for the flounce of the ruffles. Thank you Fashion Fairy Godmother!
If you look closely, you’ll see I added two more things to my black and gold earrings and bracelet combo: my bee watch and my Victor Sanz gold and diamond owl ring.
Don’t the four of them make up a handsome grouping?
I wanted to bring in a casual element for this work outfit, so I added in a rich brown shade with my sleek, suede ankle boots and my handbag of a similar tone.
Can you see how the finished outfit didn’t line up with my original lesson plan whatsoever? There’s no black or charcoal gray to be found. I didn’t have to go shopping or wait for a special occasion to wear these pieces. They fit right in with items I already had, in an outfit perfectly suited for my lifestyle, and meeting my twenty-four hour standard.
Outfit #2 came easier
With the pressure of that first outfit out of the way, I wondered what else I could create from my closet. Since I’d given up on my first ideas, my mind was free to experiment.
I went back to my closet and asked the same question as before: what color would gold like to pair up with? This time the answer was Tiffany Blue. I slipped on my J.Crew Tippi sweater in that color and put on my olive green corduroy jeans. I added an olive green sweater tunic and belted it with a cognac leather belt.
I wanted one more layer. I knew exactly what to reach for: the Griffin Coat from Artful Home (last year). See the white and olive green chalk lines in the black coat? What a color combo. Let’s all swoon together, shall we?
I transferred that black and gold jewelry combo to this outfit and added the same cognac boot and handbag. I needed one more thing. With the deep V made by the belted tunic, there was a space there. Since gold is running the show, I looked at my accessories, and there was Mother’s gold locket. Sweet.
A styling ah-ha moment
I just noticed something: In both outfits I’m wearing long coats. Do you think I unconsciously chose them because they relate to the long line of the Moonlight on the Water earring? What do you think?
It’s kind of mysterious (and wonderful) to me how I am so comfortable wearing these earrings in my right-now life, when I saw them as special occasion earrings. But what was I thinking? Isn’t every single day a special one?
I know I’ve focused on the star accessory, but the Two Tone Small Rough Cut Bracelet balances everything. It truly is an award-winning supporting accessory. Give it the credit it deserves: an outfit needs both of these positions filled in order to work well.
Class—what have we learned about fashion and style?
Here are a few of my takeaways.
- You don’t know what’s going to happen until you try it.
- It’s best to let pieces talk to you and tell you what they want.
- Working with a jewelry bundle makes dressing so much easier.
- One well-thought-out outfit will lead quickly to the next one and the next one.
- Styling outfits is one-part playing, one-part listening, and one-part letting go of results.
And your takeaways, my friend? Please share!
Artful Home sponsored this post. Thank you Lisa Bayne and Artful Home for allowing me to play with and learn from these pieces.